Is Divorce Easier on Younger Kids?

Andrew Dalton

Ah, it's autumn here in Hollywood. It's the season where everything dies -- from the post-Blockbuster, pre-Oscar crop of crap movies to the downfall of celebrity marriages.

Yeah, they seem, like celebrity deaths and air disasters, to come in threes. 

Not just Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman, but Courteney Cox and David Arquette (for whom I'm told I'm a dead-ringer, though of course I don't see it) and Laura Dern and Ben Harper have split. I'll confess hearing about Dern and Harper is like reading an obit and thinking, "That guy was alive?" I had no idea these two were together. What a cute couple! Sucks they're splitting before I had a moment to enjoy the thought.

And of course all the splits mean issues for their kids with hip names and single-digit ages. 

The kids in question are Dern and Harper's 9-year-old Ellery and 5-year-old Jaya, Cox and Arquette's 6-year-old Coco, and Aguilera and Bratman's 2-year-old Max. It could prove easiest for the littlest, if some of the wilder rumors of Xtina loving women don't turn into a problem.

As I said in the case of Tiger and Elin, the late toddler years are a common time for parents to split. It's when your head gets above water, you get out of baby crisis mode, and you start to take stock of the relationship. (The other time would be when the kids leave for college and the parents realize they have nothing left in common.) 

Unlike the convoluted tales and tough questions the Cox and Dern crews are facing with their big kids, the little ones can be told stories of mom or dad getting new houses and beds but everyone still being friends.

Yeah, they're smart enough to know when there's tension and trouble, and of course they feel heartache, but they're also smart and small enough to accept new circumstances and move forward without the world's-ending drama of older kids. And little Max is of an age where he really won't remember anything different.

Of course all the kids will probably have the ample therapy, nannies, and time with each parent that they won't be any more screwed up than the average Hollywood child.  

Regardless of the kid's age, it's probably not the best idea to go lay out your whole method of dealing on The Howard Stern Show. Though it's helpful for entertaining the rest of us.

What do you think is the best age for kids to deal with divorce?


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